Honda/Toyota side with GPWC

The GPWC's plans to create a rival racing series to Formula 1 were given a massive boost when Japanese manufacturers Honda and Toyota threw their weight behind its vision for Grand Prix racing beyond 2007 on Wednesday

Honda/Toyota side with GPWC

The news comes less than a week after Ferrari committed itself to a new agreement with Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Management company to remain in F1 until at least 2012, dealing the GPWC a body blow. But this development could leave the Italian team in an isolated position and facing the prospect of racing in a category with little in the way of competition, should the manufacturers jump ship.

In the document released Wednesday evening, following a meeting in London between the three remaining manufacturers behind the GPWC (Renault, Mercedes-Benz and BMW) and Honda and Toyota, the five car-makers announced that they had unanimously agreed a framework for the future of the sport after 2007.

The document, which referred to the new series as Grand Prix Motor Racing, outlined a comprehensive set of governing principles, as well as a technical format, sporting framework and an insight into the commercial governance for the new category, which had appeared to be dead in the water until this statement.

Honda and Toyota, who have always had a tacit agreement with the manufacturers, are believed to have been angered sufficiently by Ferrari's decision to go it alone and sign a new Concorde Agreement with the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone. But although they have align themselves with the GPWC, they not have signed up to become partners in the company, and it is possible that they could yet be swayed back in the direction of F1. After all Ferrari was the GPWC's most vocal partner before its defection.

The move is seen as a way for the manufactuers to exert further pressure on the FIA and Ecclestone (who has been accused of giving Ferrari special treatment in the past) to agree to a larger, fairer portion of F1's revenue. If the manufacturers fail to achieve these objectives, however, it would seem that the prospect of a rival championship has taken a step closer to reality in the past 24 hours.



retains Grand Prix Motor Racing's position at the pinnacle of the sport

provides the basis of a long term plan for the prosperity of Grand Prix Motor Racing and all its stakeholders, including teams, sponsors and circuits

supports and encourages the participation of independent teams through technical assistance and engine supply

attracts, excites and provides good value to fans globally

is open, transparent and fair in commercial, technical and sporting governance

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